If you love the series you NEEEEEED this one! Midnight Bites was a fabulous look into the world of the Morganville Vampires. It's a set of 20+ stories surrounding various characters from the series. Some stories take place hundreds of years ago. Some take place in present day. They're of all varying lengths from just a few pages to decent chunks. Some character studies or little vignettes that aren't full stories but more flash shots at what happened along the way and surround a particular day or thought or event. One of the things I loved most was that each story includes an intro as well explaining why Caine wrote the piece. If it was to get a better feel for a character or because someone wanted to know more or as part of an anthology, etc. I'm not going to review each individual piece since a good number of them are too short or just don't need a review but overall I enjoyed the collection. It was interesting getting a peek into some of the side characters, seeing some of the things in their pasts that made them...them. ...more
Sweet, spirited full of saucy adventure. Jeffries, Hawkins, Camp & Duran charmed with a lovely Christmas anthology. I love Christmas stories. TherSweet, spirited full of saucy adventure. Jeffries, Hawkins, Camp & Duran charmed with a lovely Christmas anthology. I love Christmas stories. There's something so warm and cozy about them and the four novellas in What Happened Under the Mistletoe hit just the right spot. Each was the perfect length for a cold winters night in front of a roaring fire. The romances were quick but nicely done. A little heat, a lot of attraction and a dollop of action to keep things interesting. Nicely done!
The Heiress and the Hothead by Sabrina Jeffries
The Quick Of It: A Christmas gathering. A heated kiss. A hero set on expose the atrocities of mill owners. An American heroine who owns a mill. Realizing you just kissed the enemy? #Priceless
The Yay: Jeffries is always entertaining. I adore her romances and characters. Stephen and Amanda were quite the thing. Poor bloke. He just never had a chance against the pistol that was Amanda. She was a fierce chickie and not about to take any of his crap over the mills. Had him all turned upside down and churned up over all his warring desires. I had fun watching their sharp tongues and seeing the resolve weaken. They may have seem at odds over the mills but really they're both great people who want to make the world a safer place for workers though they definitely went about it different ways. Whew! There's a little heat and a little danger that brings them together. The only thing that didn't quite work for me was the sex scene. It was just bit oddly placed and had me giving them the wonky eye because really yall? lol But other than that it was a fun little jaunt and tasty holiday treat.
Twelve Kisses to Midnight by Karen Hawkins
The Quick Of It: A compromising run in at a masquerade ball and a winter blizzard seem determined to bring the former lovers--Marcus & Kenna--back into each others lives. Kicking and screaming the whole way. And maybe copping a feel now and again too.
The Yay: I love couples with a past. These two were so similar. Stubborn and fierce. And they let that out on each other which was kinda fun to watch. I enjoyed their dynamic. The battle between their attraction and annoyance with each other. And I'm a sucker for the whole snowed in stuck in a cabin together trope. Especially since this cabin had a bit of a pervy bent to it. Some nice kissin' and a little actual lovin'.
By Any Other Name by Candace Camp
The Quick Of It: When a girl's brother disappears after a family fight what's she to do? Don chaps of course and venture into the gaming hells in search of the lout! Maybe confuse a hero along the way then have one hell of a time shaking him once he realizes, yeah, she's not so much a dude and is rocking some boobage.
The Yay: Gregory and Rylla were fab. There's a little cat and mouse thing going on there at the start when she's pretending to be a guy. Trying to ditch the captivated Gregory much to no avail. It was fun seeing them together--once he tracked down his girl-- as they wandered the night in search of her "lost" brother. A little chemistry and heat at the end and it made for a sweet encounter and a dreamy romance. Definitely plan on reading more from Camp.
Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran
The Quick Of It: She's been abandoned at Christmas! And forced to play hostess to her father's wild house guests. Including a late arrival who shattered her young heart years ago. Blast her father! Georgie is just having a time of it this Christmas. But chickie is tough and determined to make it a lovely Christmas week for all. And might just find out a little bit about the past she never knew during all the holiday revelries.
The Yay: I love second chance romances and aw these two were great. Add in a little mystery as Lucas and Georgie search for a stolen letter and partake in all sorts of holiday cheer from decorating to jaunts about town and delicious meals and it was just a fun little ride. I loved Georgie. I could so see myself being her. She was determined to show their out of town guests the delights of English Christmas and all it entails. They were gonna see and do it all and dammit they were gonna enjoy it! lol It was a quickie but fun. I'm on board for more Duran too!...more
An lovely and easy anthology. Four stories of people who have known each other for ages (in one way or another) finally finding love and romance and tAn lovely and easy anthology. Four stories of people who have known each other for ages (in one way or another) finally finding love and romance and their people. It was sweet and just a tiny bit steamy (2.5ish on a 5 scale). While they didn't all blow me away they were all very nice reads and for the three authors I'd not read before I do plan on picking up others of theirs so overall pretty pleased with the antho. 3.5 overall stars.
Midnight Bet by Jodi Thomas-- 3.5 stars
Oh not bad! This was my first from Thomas and, gotta say, I enjoyed it! It took a little bit for me to get into her style and word flow but once I did it was easy to go along for the ride with the characters. Two separate romances that totally worked, some life or death moments, lots of herd babes and all in 75 pages. Not bad, Thomas. Not bad!
You'll Be Mine by Marie Force-- 3 stars
This was one I think will appeal much more to those who have read the series it came from. There wasn't anything I actively disliked about the novella--other than a good helping of cheese--but since I'd not read the series it came from I really wasn't all that wowed by the read either. There were a lot of previous characters since the novella centers around one of the town couples getting married and I really just didnt' have that prior attachment to any of them that would have me doing that girly wistful sigh at getting to see characters I love tease and fuss over each other.
There were good bits though. I loved a smitten moose, the way they doted on their dogs, some of the emotional wedding moments that just always make you a little bit sniffly. But I really do think this one will hit harder for those who know and love the series already. As someone just coming in it was just okay.
Wrapped Around Your Finger by Shirley Jump-- 3.5 stars
*squee* My favoritest of favorite storylines...fake mates! And best friends. Aws but Wrapped Around Your Finger was a cutie of a read. The quick of it is that Maggie and Nick have worked together for a couple years now on a construction site--yeah, chickie works construction!! yay!--and they joke and tease and she's just one of the guys (at least she thinks so) and now she needs a date to a friends wedding and against her better judgement she asks her playboy bestie to fill in for the job.
They were so cute! I loved that they'd known each other, that they were great friends and he adored her for all of her bits and pieces. Dolled up and girlie for the wedding and dressed down and sweaty on the construction site. And that he'd maybe been crushing on her hardcore without her knowing for quite some time. It was sweet and fun and made me sniffle once. A tiny bit of heat and just a great hero. I liked Maggie too though there at the end she needed a good shaking she was running so hard from what was in front of her. That brought it down from a 4 for me. I kind of needed one more chapter or just a couple more pages after she'd run so hard for things to work out perfectly on my reader end. But it was a great read and I'll be back for more.
Carolina Heart by Virginia Kantra--4 stars
Oh, yes! Carolina Heart was an excellent way to end the anthology. It's a series I've enjoyed so much but it works completely as a stand alone. A slightly nerdy hero who blushes and gets flustered but has some oh so sexy moves and is an amazing man. And a single mama doing everything she can to give her daughters a good life and plan for their future. I loved these two. Everything about them. That they had some history--went to school together--that the romance went slow--the novella goes over 5-6 months I believe--and that there was so much heart and love and sweetness. Plus a little steam as he woos her something fierce and finally gets her to see him and that he wants to be a part of their lives. Just a lovely romance and start to a family....more
*noms* I love a sexy alpha so I was all in when I saw Hot Alphas. Plus the fact that Leigh, Walker and Douglas are favorites? Yes, please! Some good
*noms* I love a sexy alpha so I was all in when I saw Hot Alphas. Plus the fact that Leigh, Walker and Douglas are favorites? Yes, please! Some good loving, a nice variety of set ups and a tiny bit of suspense made for some good reads for the most part.
I totally expected this to be a complete knock out. But it didn't quite make it there. Douglas and Walker came through with stellar reads that were fun and sexy--though Walker's was a previous release, Leigh brought the only real alpha in the bunch and great characters but McGee. Well. The McGee contribution left me truly livid and wicked pissed. It also brought down the rating to a 3 star and a suggestion that if you want to read this one try to get it via the library. For the price and how insulting I felt the McGee read was I'd have a hard time suggesting otherwise...
~~~~~~~~~~~ This has not gone well.
Lora Leigh's contribution was a decent read though I very much felt like I was missing too much backstory and just reading an outline of it. I liked what was there and the characters but I needed a spot more.
misTaken by Laurelin McGee was one of the few books that has truly left me livid and beyond pissed. It was almost like they were mocking the genre and romance readers. The heroine actually trashed romance readers and books as, well, trash. No condoms were used, she's judgmental and rude the entire time, she's the alpha...he isn't. There's a dig at reviewers for how they rate books and the heroine continues on with her anti-romance book/reader attitude until a page and a half at the end. Oh and she threw her shoe at what she thought was a squirrel (but turned out to be the hero). Nothing about this one worked for me. Lots of meh, grrrrs and args. It's a writing duo and I've removed all of their individual books from my tbr pile.
Burn for Me by Shiloh Walker--this one was previously released as a stand alone novella and I read it at that time--Sexy, sweet and full of steam. Just what I expect from Shiloh Walker! Burn for Me was a little heartbreaking but at the same time a completely heartwarming glimpse inside the life of Tate as he hits a crossroads in his life. One where he has to decide if holding on to his childhood traumas and anger will keep him from the woman he loves and a future he desperately needs with her and her sons. It's a quick read--only about 80 pages--but pretty satisfying.
Tangled by Kate Doughlas--in progress--so far I'm loving this one. The characters are likable, the setting is interesting, getting ready to have some hot lovin...yeah this is making up for some of the grrrs. ...more
So. Wicked Games was...an interesting anthology featuring 3 novellas/short stories from Angela Knight. She's a fairly new to me author--I've read herSo. Wicked Games was...an interesting anthology featuring 3 novellas/short stories from Angela Knight. She's a fairly new to me author--I've read her in a couple anthologies--but this was not really what I was expecting.
I enjoyed it to an extent. Knight easily had me wrapped up and intrigued by some pretty unique storylines. I loved the premises between each of the stories. My issue came in--and this is why I'd very, very cautiously recommend this one to only a select few--was that each of the stories has some elements of non-consent where the sexual relationship is concerned. Either very nearly walking the line of rape or in one of the novellas flat crossing it. There's also anal play in each--used as a punishment/humiliation and pain inflicted upon the heroines for the heroes pleasure/revenge. Yall know I enjoy my extreme reads but this one gave me pause in a couple spots especially where consent was involved.
Aaaannnd...craving cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap was a great little Christmas collection surrounding the lives oAaaannnd...craving cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap was a great little Christmas collection surrounding the lives of three girlfriends, a winter storm and, like I mentioned, cookies galore! It's sweet, sassy and even a little steamy and just what you need to get in the Christmas spirit!
Where There's Smoke by Donna Kauffman--3 stars!
Clara is a hot mess when it comes to all things baking and Lord help her she's just landed a gig as the Christmas cookie columnist for the local paper and things get off to a very hot start as she starts her cookie baking adventures. Enter firefighter Will who swoops in and saves his old college friend from a glorious cookie disaster. I'm always a fan of second chance romances and loved that these two knew each other years ago and were good friends once upon a time. It really made their instant connection and relationship believable and pretty cute. Will. Gah. He's all kinds of sexy firefighter goodness and spends a good bit of time shirtless. *girly swoon* He's just a sweet guy. Clara I had a little harder time with. She's having a rough go lately but really instead of feeling completely sympathetic she came off a bit whiny and oy I am not a fan of whiny so it was hard to connect with her. It was still a cute read though.
The Gingerbread Men by Kate Angell-- 4 stars!
Gingerbread men with candy cane erections. ::gigglesnort:: Kate Angell is freaking brilliant! The Gingerbread Men was a sweet, fun and heartwarming read that kicks off with naughty gingerbread men causing all kinds of havoc and landing one sexy hunk of a man on Abby's doorstep during a fierce winter storm. There was a very intimate feel to this one and you could really believe the emotions thrumming through Abby (the x-rated cookie maker lol) and Lander were feeling and the bond between them. They've both suffered losses recently and it was really touching how Lander helped her through her sadness and grief of her first Christmas without her Grams. Getting her to talk and decorate and remember the good times. I did think there was a touch too many mentions of her grandmother but really it was just moving seeing how much he cared and wanted to do for her. There's also an awesome kitty who really brought a sweet little element to their story. All in all a great read with a really wonderful ending that left me smiling.
Sugar and Spice by Kimberly Kincaid-- 5 stars
Once again Kincaid wowed me. Sugar and Spice was sweet and sexy, heartfelt and delicious and topped off with the excitement of a life changing competition. Basically... it was pretty damn perfect. Lily and Pete are up against each other in a huge Cookie Competition hosted by the local resort and the two are amazing. I loved watching them compete, get to know each other and butt heads a little bit because omg they are such opposites. He's a cocky go by the seat of your pants pastry chef (and holy cow pastry chefs are HOT) and Lily's a hardcore planner that follows all the rules. I was really pleased with what a deep connection was forged in so few pages and how quickly I grew to care about them both. They really grow as characters and it was just lovely watching them come together in and out of the kitchen. Kincaid truly rocks a foodie romance novella. If you haven't checked her out yet you need to. Pronto.
Alright so now that I've talked about all the good there is one thing I had trouble with that I think bares mentioning. The prologue and epilogue were difficult to get through. Too many names thrown at me. Too much back and forth activity/conversation. It was just confusing and made me feel a bit scattered and really didn't seem necessary overall. It would have worked great with just the three novellas in my opinion. So, just a heads up, if you're struggling with it hold tight. The novellas are totally worth it.
Ahhh a kinky fetish resort getaway filled with oh so sexy Doms and feisty women who accidentallyOriginally reviewed at herding cats & burning soup
Ahhh a kinky fetish resort getaway filled with oh so sexy Doms and feisty women who accidentally ended up at the resort for the week and are surrounded by all sorts of kinkery goodness. Seriously. Where can I find a resort like this?! LOL Love it!
Fling is on the lighter side of BDSM and actually made me smile quite a bit because it was so much...simpler? than the ones I'm used to. It's not like Cherise Sinclair, Candace Blevins or Kallypso Masters. It's more, I don't really even know, contemporary romancified BDSM? Light, easy, more kinky fetish fun than lifestyle I guess.
I think this would be good for those wanting to venture into BDSM writing that isn't heavy or intense and just want a touch of kinky fun. And for those that love BDSM it's a fun little romp if you want something more beginner-ish. I had a good time with it and will be giving each of these ladies another read at some point.
Take Me by Sara Fawkes was a nice easy read that was steamy and fun. I enjoyed Alexander and Kate. He's got some sexy going on and loves control. And Kate's a bit hurt and shy after a failed engagement but adventurous and a bit of an exhibitionist which Alexander loved bringing out in her. It was a nice mix and even though things move very quickly, whew boy do they-- there's a little good natured voyeurism going on and then BAM we're having sex in an alcove, I still enjoyed the steamy scenes and how things ended up with them.
There were some kinda predictable moments, a little too much reliance on people's hair color when indicating people (the redhead instead of names or using her) and a some issues I wish had been more fleshed out or even mentioned, like protection, but all in all it was a fun read that left me curious to see how Fawkes handles a full length story.
So, yeah, in real life... Teach Me by Cathryn Fox would so be a sexual harassment suit waiting to happen but on paper, yeah, it was pretty damn hot as designer Josie tries to get Luca to sign a contract with her fashion house to sell their lingerie and does whatever it takes. I really liked the writing in this one. It was well thought out, sexy, surprising and even though it moved a little quicker at the end than I was ready for it was a nice satisfying read.
Luca and Josie were both great characters. Very dedicated and loyal and had great chemistry. Things delve a little deeper between them with glimpses into his past and her present which I really liked. Josie was fairly naive but she's bold and sassy and pretty daring. The sex scenes were a little spicier than I was expecting with some nice exhibitionism and surprise, um, partners joining in. It was...good.
Tame Me by Lauren Hawkeye was my favorite of the trio and a lot had to do with the heroine who was a celebrity and being more or less hunted down by Marco. The two had a brief encounter where sparks flew and Marco knew he needed to get to know her better but oh she so wasn't making it easy on him at all and I loved her bratty spitfire attitude. Ariel had a nice bite to her that really worked well when meshed with Marco.
There were some nice steamy scenes that were pretty intense and were nicely done. I really liked Hawkeye's voice and how fleshed out she managed to make her novella....more
Not bad. Not bad at all. To All A Good Night was a delicious holiday read filled with sexy men and spunky women. Lots oherding cats & burning soup
Not bad. Not bad at all. To All A Good Night was a delicious holiday read filled with sexy men and spunky women. Lots of heat and delightful adventure. Basically it's some good not-so-clean Christmas fun ;) There's no real connecting theme other than, maybe, finding love when you least expect it?
I really loved two of the stories (Shalvis and Dimon). Both are easily 5 star stories. They're fun and sexy with great characters and storylines that felt complete and fit the characters.
I didn't love Kauffman's contribution though. It only got 3 stars. It started off strong but fizzled and fell into the rushed category. Ex- after less than 24 hours knowing each other the two are going to move in together and she's going to move states to be with him. Really? Eh, unfortunately, not for me.
But if you love holiday stories and are in the mood for a quick fun read this anthology overall is really quite excellent. ...more
Stroke of Enticement by Nalini Singh Damn! I can't believe I've waited this long to read Nalini SinOriginally posted at Herding Cats & Burning Soup
Stroke of Enticement by Nalini Singh Damn! I can't believe I've waited this long to read Nalini Singh! Not even 10 pages in and I was completely captivated by her easy writing style, believable characters and humor. It's filled with sexy, charming leopard changlings, an undeniable attraction and a lot of heart. There's no real plot other than a fantastic love story and overcoming ones families but it really worked for me. Zack and Annie were wonderful together. I loved all of their interactions. How terribly Zack, damn near twinkling with humor, teased Annie. The fire he sparked in her and how she held her own with him. And just how perfectly they complimented each other. It really felt like these two had known each other for years instead of days/weeks. This one's short and sweet with a fast moving relationship but it never feels rushed or incomplete. Next chance I get I'll be grabbing up the rest of this series. That. Good.
She jumped. "You walk like a cat!"
"I am a cat, sweetheart." He wanted to tease her again, so he let a low growl rumble up from his chest. "See?"
Streaks of vibrant color stained her cheeks once more. But she didn't back down. "Are you planning to move?"
"No." He drew in a deep breath, fighting the urge to nuzzle at her throat. "You smell good. Can I taste you?" It was a half-serious question. "Just a little?"
"Mr. Quinn!" She took a step around him and headed off.
But he'd already caught the tart bite of arousal in her scent. Satisfied, he followed, on his best behavior now. It wouldn't do to scare Annie away. Not when he planned to keep her.
Christmas Bree by Erin McCarthy Now, I love Erin McCarthy but man was this one a dud for me. Bree Murphy is a witch and for the last year has been having some very steamy dreams about a mystery man. One day lawyer Ian Carrington shows up on her doorstep with an offer, from one of his clients, to buy her house. Not only is he her mystery man but he's been dreaming of her all along too! I just didn't feel the sparks between Bree and Ian. There were some steamy moments and I did like that they kinda sorta had a connection to one another already but actually feeling the sparks between them and believing the relationship unfortunately never happened.
There's was a bit of drama from Ian's overly determined client wanting to force Bree from her home but it all gets wrapped up nice and tidy in the end. What I think got me most was never really finding out WHY the client was so hell bent and determined to have her home. Loose ends drive me nuts. I really wanted to love this one since I do enjoy McCarthy's writing but in the end it just fell completely flat for me. I think I'll be sticking to McCarthy's full length novels. Those she's a freaking master at!
Sweet Dreams by Linda Winstead Jones Linda Winstead Jones was the wild card for me. I'd never even heard of her before picking up this anthology but she wasn't bad. Her writing was easy to read, flowed nicely and wrapped up in a fairly satisfying way. It was a little predictable but really not bad at all for a quick read.
The basic plot is that an ancient evil is about to escape captivity and wreck havoc and destruction starting with bakery owner Ruby Kincaid who doesn't believe in any of that woowoo stuff and has no idea what's about to happen to her life. Ruby's a sweet character whose life is a little dull. She's a hard worker and spends most of her time growing her business. Zane Benedict, her neighbor, though. Let me tell you. First thoughts on him were "socially awkward asshole!!" I'm not sure I've met a hero who gave a worse first impression but he managed to completely redeem himself and I kinda like him now. There's drama, action a bit of betrayal and a soul sucking cat that'll make you look at your feline residents a little more closely. Jones did a fantastic job using dreams/visions that'll make the little hairs on the back of your neck rise. I was pretty impressed with her.
Christmas Heat by Lora Leigh This was my second favorite of the anthology since I know the world and enjoyed getting a taste of it again. It's book 17 in the Breeds series (I'm only at #4) so a lot of things have changed. New characters/matings, political issues, medical discoveries, etc. If you just brush past that and go with it it's a great read. If you're already reading the Breeds series you might want to hold off on this one until you've read all of the earlier ones. There are a couple little spoilerish discoveries talked about in the story.
Haley is the town librarian and Noble a Breeds enforcer (Love that they're both into books/reading). The two have been dancing around each other for months and are finally given a push when Haley's life is put in jeopardy by a Breeds betrayer and a company out to eliminate her for testifying in court against them. This one's short and quick but I liked the characters together and that they have some history together. There was a lot of heat, sweetness, caring. My gut always clinches reading about the Breeds and how hard their upbringings were. Not understanding a lot of human emotions or things like celebrating Christmas or getting a simple gift. So I loved this one and Noble finding someone that was his, experiencing Christmas and getting his first gift, etc. ...more
Well, damn. First time I've ever wanted to trade places with a candy cane! Love this cover! Hot for the Holidays was chock full of new to me authors.Well, damn. First time I've ever wanted to trade places with a candy cane! Love this cover! Hot for the Holidays was chock full of new to me authors. I have read Lora Leigh before but not anything from the Breeds series that her short story came from. Overall this is a very nice anthology with each story happening during the Christmas season. While I enjoyed Knight's and James' contributions the most each of the authors' contributions were enjoyable and kept my interest. I'd pick up books by any of the authors included without a second thought.
Vampire's Ball by Angela Knight I really enjoyed Knight's Vampire's Ball which is part of her Mageverse series. It doesn't take long to understand the world that she created revolving around King Arthur and his Knights. It can easily be read without reading the rest of the series. It's an interesting twist on the Knights and Ladies of the round table with them actually being turned into Vampires and Majae when they become the immortal protectors of mankind. Kat Danilo has just found out about this world and is being tested, by Vampire Ridge, to see if she has the strength to survive becoming a Maja. There was a bit of a mystery to be solved concerning a long ago murder and some difficult issues over loss and guilt touched upon. The chemistry between Ridge and Kat was both sweet and steamy. I liked that they had some shared experiences that helped them understand one another. There was a lot happening in very few pages but it worked for me. The only thing that got me a little was how quickly Kat seemed to master her new powers once she had them. The names did have me biting back a grin from time to time with their cheesiness. Ridge Champion, Jimmy Chosen? And the alternate world of Mageverse? Oy. But still a nicely done short story that felt complete and left me interested enough to go pick up the first book in the series.
A Little Night Magic by Allyson James I LOVED this prequel to James' Stormwalker series. After disappearing 2 years earlier and breaking her heart Jaimson returns to protect Naomi and her daughter from enemies who are out to destroy the ones he loves. This one was full of Changers, skinwalkers, pervy trickster gods, a little mystery and some good action scenes all adding up to a great read. Plus I'm just a sucker for couples getting back together after being separated for years and finally getting things right the second time around. I liked Naomi, she's got some sass and spice in her. She practical and doesn't let things knock her down for too long. I loved her reactions to pretty much everything and that she wasn't afraid to let Jaimson know how pissed off she was over his leaving years earlier. Jaimson was a decent guy especially once you knew why he disappeared. He's laid back, in charge, sweet with her daughter who was deaf. Even though it doesn't look like this couple is the focus for the rest of the series I'm still interested to see where it goes from here and getting to see more of Coyote the pervy god.
Favorite line? "Damn all magic-seeking, shamanistic men with gorgeous bodies and long cocks."
Sweet Enchantment by Anya Bast For the most part I did enjoy Sweet Enchantment but it wasn't my favorite. There were some interesting parts to the Fae world Bast created with them basically imprisoned and forced to live in a certain contained area and unable to leave. I liked that little twist since usually they're portrayed as all powerful and in control. 30 years after ending their affair ended badly Bella Rhiannon Caliste Mac Lyr and Ronan Achaius Quinn are thrown together again, on the run to save not only his life but suddenly hers as well. Both characters were likable and it was heartbreaking to find out why things had ended so badly between them decades earlier and how much it had hurt both of them.
My big problem with the story and why I didn't like this one as much was the ending. Up until then I was really into the story and the characters. There is a happily ever after of sorts but everything concluded very abruptly. I knew the story was nearly over but when I read the last page it just didn't feel finished. Things were still too up in the air for me and I fully expected at least one more chapter before it was really over so hitting the last page was a shock. I wasn't left with a nice satisfied feeling and sure everything would work out. Not a fan of that. I did like the writing though so will be picking up a full length book of hers to see how she handles endings with one of those. Better, I hope.
Favorite line? "Just remember it's an invitation to get into bed, not into me." "I value my balls. I know better than to try anything with you right now."
A Christmas Kiss by Lora Leigh I've read a few of Leigh's books but never one from her Breeds series, even though it's been on my buy list for ages, so I was really looking forward to this story and getting a taste of the series. I did enjoy the story but I think I would have liked it a lot more if I had read the rest of the series first. The terminology, obvious back-story that impacted the couple, and just the Breed world in general. Jessica Raines (human) and Hawke Estaban (breed) are destined mates who have been separated for the last year while Jessica was in confinement and her innocence determined after she was forced to betray the Breeds. Still following along? The story is basically the two of them coming back together and deciding if they want to cement the mate bond between them. At the same time protecting Jessica from an outside threat that's trying to eliminate her. Again I really wish I knew all of the back story on the hero and heroine. While I liked them and was glad they found their happily ever after I think I would have been more invested in them if I knew more about their history. It was still a nice little read with some spicy scenes and some very sweet and thoughtful moments. I'll be hunting down book one of the series.
This turned out to be a delightful anthology. They are so hit or miss but this one worked for me.Originally posted at Herding Cats & Burning Soup
This turned out to be a delightful anthology. They are so hit or miss but this one worked for me. All of the stories were interesting, different enough from one another so not to blend into each other and were quite creative. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another anthology with these authors.
Chaos in Death by J.D. Robb Oh I love me some Roarke! The In Death series is hands down one of my favorites but this little taste seemed a bit off to me. I know to expect a bit of a paranormal twist on her novellas and that doesn't bother me. I actually love them because of Eve's reactions to anything not quite normal. It's so fun to watch her having to deal with the impossible especially when Roarke and others are willing to accept the idea so easily. So I'm not sure why exactly I wasn't loving this one as much as others. By the end, though, I was pretty into the story and the crazed green skinned monster that was murdering people connected to a drug rehab company. Was pretty impressive that in less than 100 pages Robb managed to mention or include nearly every ongoing character. I think only 2 were left out. The murders were vicious and managed to give me a shudder or two. Glad I hadn't just eaten before one of the scenes. Yick. Was kept guessing until nearly the end on who the killer was and how it was happening. As always I loved the scenes with just Roarke and Eve. I would have loved a bit more Roarke but the bits with him were wonderful.
Her Greatest Treasure by Mary Blayney I'll definitely be reading more of Blayney. This was an enjoyable read with a nice magical twist that wasn't too overpowering. Lydia is kidnapped on the way to visit her sister in law by someone who wants her "greatest treasure". While escaping she runs right into Chase who happened to be on the streets and decides he needs to help keep her safe and figure out who is after her. I liked that Chase wasn't too pushy with Lydia (other than on protecting her) and let her ease into a relationship with him. I also enjoyed the secrets both were hiding from society about who they really were. The two were just perfect for each other.
Dear One by Patricia Gaffney This one was pretty cute. Molly, a phone psychic makes friends with an elderly lonely caller and is forced to deal with his grandson Oliver when he finds out about the calls and wants them to end. Leading to multiple identities and aliases to cover ongoing friendships/relationships. I really liked Molly. She's a sweet girl with a good heart who is down on her luck. And yet she keeps on going and does what she has to do to try and get her life on track. You just want to reach out and give her a big hug. There were some funny scenes that had me laughing and some that were just ridiculous but had me laughing still. The ending when all was revealed was entertaining and for some reason I kept thinking of I Love Lucy. It had that kind of goofy feel to it.
The Unforgiven by Ruth Ryan Langan This was one of my favorite in the anthology. I enjoyed Langan's easy writing style and the characters she created. Brianna has moved to Scotland after a terrible betrayal to hopefully fix up a Scottish manner she's inherited only to be faced with Jaime, an incredibly pissed off 400 year old ghost who haunts the estate and wants her gone. No one's ever been strong enough to stand up to Jaime until Brianna who is determined to hold her ground. Both dealing with past hurt and betrayal they finally find a bit of peace with one another. I liked them together and was surprised by the ending. I'm still not quite sure if it broke my heart a little or not. Definitely left me with some tears and a "well, huh." feeling. Was a great read though and I look forward to reading more by Langan.
His Brother's Keeper by Mary Kay McComas Ivy Bonner is a children's book writer who thinks she is losing her mind and retreats to a cliff side house for some peace and relaxation. This was the hardest of the anthology for me to read. I've never read McComas so I'm not sure if this is her typical writing style or was used just for this novella. If the latter she did a brilliant job of making me feel like I was losing my mind right along with Ivy. I felt scattered and slightly confused/manic the whole time I was reading. If the former. Well, I won't be reading any more from McComas. That's not because I didn't enjoy the actual story line but the writing was just uncomfortable and I had to keep going back and rereading parts trying to make sense. The actual story of a ghost trying to help ease his brother's guilt over his death by using the dreams of someone else was clever and McComas did have me laughing on more than one occasion. I'm going to give her another try but it's not high on my list as of now. ...more
Shadow of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon Ah Fury. I've loved him for a while now. I have such a soft spot for the ones who are always on the outside andShadow of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon Ah Fury. I've loved him for a while now. I have such a soft spot for the ones who are always on the outside and have so few people that believe or care about them. He really is a good man even if so few see that in him and I was really excited that he finally got his own happily ever after. 400 years after betraying his trust and ending their friendship Angelia has fallen back into Fury's life right when animal shifters are being attacked and trapped in their animal forms. Both filled with hatred for the other and more than willing and determined to kill one another. Things turned so quickly. She got over her deeply ingrained fear/hatred for his kind (animal to human shifters), he forgave her for nearly killing him and being part of the attacks on his kind, they're madly in love, the attacks are dealt with. Was just a lot to happen in a mere 91 pages. I think it would have been an amazing full story. It would have been much easier to take if it were a longer story so Fury and Angelia could slowly rebuild their relationship and trust in one another instead of falling into bed with each other and everything being magically fixed between them. As it was it was just an average and fairly typical short story in an anthology. One thing I did love was seeing all the big, strong, scary alpha men taken to their knees by little kids. Fury, Fang, Vane and Zarek (oooh Zarek!). It's just amazingly wonderful to see them completely taken and smitten with the little kids in their lives. Hands down my favorite part of this tale.
The Story of Son by J.R. Ward I loved this one! It may be one of my favorite short stories and is definitely one of the most well written. Ward can do amazing things in so little time. Creating both a sweet relationship and characters you can't help but love and care about. Doubly amazing since one is a lawyer that sees no need for relationships or marriage. Claire's entire life changes when she goes on a routine business call to finalize an elderly client's will. Everything's going fine until she wakes up drugged and locked in a basement dungeon with a huge male, as it turns out, vampire. One that's been locked up for decades and never known a woman or love. So. What I love about them. Claire's all business. She gets right to the point of things and has that whole I'm-in-charge-and-you-will-answer-me bit going on. Very much the take charge lawyer who gets her way. She may freak out for a moment or two but she gets her act together and opens her heart up to someone who has never experienced a kind word. Michael is such the formal gentleman. He's shy and a bit bashful. Inexperienced but craves being touched and learning. He's had a terrible life filled with abuse and neglect that most wouldn't be able to overcome but he comes out a wonderful man. I loved how she guided him and how determined she was to save him. How delighted and emotional he was with each new feeling or experience. This was a well developed story that felt complete and ends in a way that leaves you feeling quite satisfied.
Beyond the Night by Susan Squires This was my first time reading Squires and I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another of her stories. While connected to a series it was very easy to read as a stand alone. Drew Carlowe left home to become a respectable man. When he returns to claim his long lost love he instead finds his new estate haunted by a beautiful ghost that drinks blood. Neither he nor his ghost, Freya, have really been living. He's been consumed by his need for revenge and she's tormented by her past and the "parasite" that's inside her. I liked the little twist on being a vampire and how it was somewhat separate from her and a parasite that kept her alive and needing blood. While getting to know one another and figure things out Influenza hits the town and brings life to a halt. A bit of a horrifying glimpse into the past and what people went through in the early 1800s. How easily life could be ended by something so simple. Overall it was a nice quick glimpse into the lives of Drew and Freya with a lovely ending. I'd love to see where things go with the two of them and how they've moved on from there.
Midnight Kiss Goodbye by Dianna Love I really wasn't feeling this one at all. It was hard to get into and never caught my attention. It took longer to read this story than the other 3 combined because I kept wandering away from it. The two main characters, Trey and Sasha, were likable enough but there wasn't enough of them together to really form any type of connection to them. There was some running around, mystery attacks, possession, gods showing up, demons escaping hell and attacking, witches, mystery creatures, Beladors, Alterants, random guest appearances from the series this is linked to and sex thrown in here and there between the couple for their relationship building. Eh. Just did nothing for me and was a relief to finally be finished. Maybe it would have been best to read it along with the series but as a stand alone too much information seemed to be missing and it just wasn't all that captivating.
While I didn't LOVE this anthology as a whole it was worth the read for Ward and Squires' contributions. Both were wonderfully written and left me wanting more- in a good way. Ward is always on my to read list and I'll definitely be reading more from Squires now too.
Hm. I'm the opposite of most here. I really did not like the MaryJanice Davidson story but enjoyed the rest and will probably pick up the other booksHm. I'm the opposite of most here. I really did not like the MaryJanice Davidson story but enjoyed the rest and will probably pick up the other books in the series they are connected to. I nearly stopped reading the book after getting halfway through Davidson's story which is surprising since I've loved all of her other series/etc. To me it just tried too hard and threw in too many characters in an attempt to be quirky/funny but in the end just fell flat. Maybe it would have worked better for me if it had been a full length book and the characters were all developed a bit more but none did anything for me. They weren't particularly likable/endearing or memorable. ...more
As far as anthologies go this one is above average. I wish most of the stories had been a good bit longer. 30-50 pages just doesn't get enough story iAs far as anthologies go this one is above average. I wish most of the stories had been a good bit longer. 30-50 pages just doesn't get enough story in normally and if you aren't already reading the series they are involved in it can be hard to figure out the world quick enough without getting frustrated. I got this for Ilona Andrew's story and by far it was my favorite but I think that has a lot to do with already reading the series it comes from.
Overall this was a pretty dark and broody anthology. Not light hearted or filled with happy endings. Heroes and heroines die in multiple stories and there are lots of characters that are struggling with their life missions/jobs. Some really good surprise twists (PN Elrod) and some that were fairly obvious how they would end. Overall though all of the stories were well written and if you can get past the lack of happy endings it was a good read. ...more